April 12, 2013 By Wallin & Klarich

So you spend three years and pay over $100,000 in tuition to get through law school. You put your life on hold attending classes and studying for finals. Then, you go into hibernation for over 2 months studying for the bar exam. They make you wait for nearly four long and painful months to see your results.

California%20Lawyers%20888-280-6839.jpg Finally, you find out you passed the bar exam. You celebrate. You get drunk. You throw a party. You are so happy.

BUT HOLD ON. Maybe you should put down the champagne and wait until you actually land a job as a lawyer.

The reality is that more than half of new law school graduates are unemployed

The Los Angeles Daily Journal reported on April 2, 2013 that less than half of all law students who graduated from California law schools from the class of 2012 had full-time jobs as lawyers by the end of 2012. That means that more than 50% of all of the law school graduates who had gone through three and a half years of “hell” are still looking for a job. Many will find jobs in fields unrelated to law. That may not be such a bad thing. Maybe some of these new lawyers will end up being CEO’s of some great startup company.

It is a common misconception that going to law school and becoming a lawyer will easily lead to a job with a six figure salary and upper-middle class lifestyle right after law school. However, that is not the case. Although some law students are able to find jobs that pay high salaries right out of law school, these jobs are few and far between. Only a select number of top students attending top law schools will be able to land these high-paying jobs. The reality for most law school graduates is that they will have to fight among a large pool of qualified candidates for the few remaining legal jobs that do not guarantee a high salary.

Massive amounts of student loans

In addition to the bleak job market, many graduates must worry about a large amount of debt that they took out to finance their legal education. The average debt that a law student takes out to finance their law school expenses is over $90,000. In fact, it is common for many law school graduates to take out over $200,000 in student loans.

Most students do not think about repaying their student loans before they decide to go to law school. With this massive amount of debt and a job market where even the best candidates are having difficulty finding a full-time job as a lawyer, students should think twice before they decide to go to law school.

The bottom line is that you should not fool yourself into believing that becoming a lawyer guarantees you much of anything, other than the ability to put up a diploma…even if the diploma goes up in your apartment.

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